Shellharbour bowled over by club decision

Shellharbour’s bowlers say it will be ‘‘business as usual’’ for the next two years despite losing the battle for a new home.

The 53-year-old Shellharbour Bowling Club will be demolished in 2014 to make way for the new Shell Cove north-west link road and plans for new premises have been ruled out by parent club Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club.

A feasibility study commissioned by Warilla’s board of directors found that a new bowling club in Shellharbour would be ‘‘a very high financial risk’’, according to the club’s general manager Phillip Kipp.

Warilla Bowls took over the day-to-day running of Shellharbour Bowling Club in 1998 when the two clubs amalgamated.

A new Shellharbour bowling club had been proposed for a nearby 1.4ha site obtained through a land-swap with Shellharbour City Council after the council purchased the bowling club site for the new road.

Mr Kipp said the Warilla board had now resolved to sell the land.

‘‘The reality is it would be a $6million to $7million capital spend with doubts there would be any return on the money, ’’ Mr Kipp said.

‘‘There will be a board meeting on Monday night to discuss if there are any options going forward.’’

The news comes as a blow to the Shellharbour club’s 170 men and 80 women bowlers.

Last year, club members raised more than $30,000 towards a new home when they stripped off for the 2012 nude bowls calendar.

Club president Phil Greatorix said members had raised more than $70,000 towards a new building. Some of the money will be returned to the Warilla club with the rest to be given to charity.

‘‘Our club will stay open until the lease expires on June 30, 2014 so we want to get the message out there that it is business as usual until then,’’ Mr Greatorix said.

‘‘We have called a general meeting of all members for June 24 ... where to from here will be decided on that day.’’

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